Last Updated on Monday, 15 February 2016, 16:15 by Jomo Paul
As the considerations of the estimates for Budget 2016 continued on Monday afternoon, there was a brief uproar in the House as the Opposition questioned the appearance of the Special and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) under the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP).
SOCU, is a branch of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) which should appear under the Ministry of Public Security in accordance with the law.
People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Chief Whip Gail Teixeira raised strenuous objections to the appearance of the law enforcement agency.
She said that the Government must provide an explanation for SOCU’s appearance under the Ministry of the Presidency noting that it contradicted the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Bill 2015.
“I am asking how is SOCU under the office of the President…SOCU does not belong here,” Teixeira declared.
She questioned whether the government will be making any steps to rectify the issue as is.
State Minister Joseph Harmon in his response stated that SOCU is being transitioned to its legal agency.
Some $40M was budgeted under the line item "Other" for the law enforcement agency.
SOCU was conceptualized and established to investigate suspected money laundering crimes, prosecuting persons suspected of terrorism and financial offences.